In 2001, I toured the USA and Canada. 8 provinces and 48 states in a 4 month period and over 25,000 kilometres. I met with Virtual Reality people that I had talked with on an online chat program, Active Worlds, over the years. I slept in their driveways in my van, drank their coffee. It was an amazing zig-zag journey all over the continent. I had no set plans on where I was going and half the time I was actually lost. Being lost, I found the most amazing things.
I left California and headed East. I made it as far as Georgia, where I stayed with some friends. I phone my friend in Montreal saying that I was finally coming home, north. By then I had been on the road for a long time and was a bit homesick. But during the night, I had some terrible feelings. By morning, I phoned my friend and said I was going back to California. I drove like a maniac, hardly stopping. You could say I was driven while I drove.
I arrived at a friend’s place in California a couple of days later and was sleeping in my van in their driveway when I was woken by the friend pounding on my van. She was screaming and crying… “It is war…we are at war.”
I dressed quickly and headed up to their house. There on the TV was the destruction. Planes had hit the towers. We stood there, 3 of us, watching in shock. And then the towers melted. Like something out of a horror movie, they peeled back and fell…Never in my life had I seen such destruction as it actually took place. I will say we were in shock for days watching that television, not moving and hardly speaking, as the images repeated over and over, day and night.
If I had headed North that day, as I had said I was, I would have been passing through at exactly the time the towers were hit. Sometimes it is good to listen to our instincts, even if we do not understand them at the time. It has been many years since it happened but I still cry when I see the films. My heart goes out to all the families of the people that lost their loved ones on that day. It will never be forgotten.